Pipeline Safety Reauthorization is Law

The Securing America’s Future Energy: Protecting our Infrastructure of Pipelines and Enhancing Safety Act (SAFE PIPES Act,) is now law. President Barack Obama signed the legislation on June 22.

“The SAFE PIPES Act will help ensure the safety of America’s pipeline network by building upon the success of legislation from 2006 and 2011 and reauthorizing the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration through 2019 thereby allowing them to promulgate and implement existing mandates,” said Dave McCurdy, AGA president and CEO. “Congress acted unanimously to enact legislation that carefully considered how to effectively enhance safety moving forward and the President affirmed their efforts. America’s natural gas utilities are encouraged by this process and applaud all of the leaders involved in this effort for their action on behalf of the more than 177 million Americans that enjoy the benefits of clean natural gas.”

The SAFE PIPES Act will improve pipeline safety by closing gaps in federal standards, enhancing the quality and timeliness of rulemakings, promoting better usage of data and technology and providing regulatory certainty for natural gas utilities that are actively enhancing safety for their customers and communities. It passed the Senate by unanimous consent on March 3, 2016 and again on June 14. The House took up an amendment to the Senate’s bill under suspension of the rules on June 8 and also passed it by unanimous consent.

The American Gas Association and its members were very supportive of the Pipeline Inspection, Protection, Enforcement and Safety Act of 2006 and the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty and Job Creation Act of 2011. These pipeline safety reauthorizations contained significant changes to pipeline safety programs and created numerous new programs to further improve industry safety. AGA member companies have implemented many aspects of these programs either through regulations or voluntarily. IEF